A killer workout can lead you to couch sitting for a couple of days—hey, it happens.
But you can help ease soreness and increase blood flow to assist the recovery process. From compression sleeves and cold therapy to foam rollers and muscle stimulators, here are five recovery tools to keep you moving this season.
Compression Sleeves and Braces
Studies suggest that compression sleeves can help reduce muscle pain, damage, and inflammation. In addition, compression gear can help ease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). So, wearing a compression support post-workout can help ease any soreness and swelling you may experience as well as helping to improve blood circulation.1
A popular pre-workout or post-workout regime is heat therapy. Heat therapy helps blood flow move and keeps the muscles functioning properly, providing them with more oxygen and nutrients that they need. Heat therapy helps alleviate muscle tension and nagging pain from a minor injury or soreness. Heat can be applied before activity or after to help your recovery process.2
Cold therapy is one of the first steps in post-workout recovery and during injury. Ice packs and cold compresses can help reduce swelling and inflammation. In a study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that cold therapy helped to reduce muscle pain in about 80 percent of the observed study as well as improved athletic recovery.3 Adding cold therapy into a regular post-workout routine can reduce recovery time and help improve performance.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release4—think of self-massage—that aids to rid knots and loosen tight muscles while helping increase blood flow to your muscles which can help improve range of motion and assist with recovery.
TENS are small electrical pulses delivered through a device which can help relieve pain through two different means. By stimulating the sensory nerves, TENS produces high levels of endorphins to help reduce body pain. The other method is known as GATE Control Theory which works to block pain signals to the brains. TENS can help with sore muscles.5,6
EMS provides an electrical current at a specific frequency to target motor nerves. These nerves activate the muscle to contract based on the amount of resistance applied through the device. The brain goes through a similar process to weight lifting.
Use one or all forms of recovery to help you relieve tense muscles and get back to activity quickly.
The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.
- Hadjistavropoulos, T; Craig, K. Pain: Psychological Perspectives. New York; London. Psychology Press, 2004.
- Han JS, Chen XH, Sun SL, Xu XJ, Yuan Y, Yan SC, Hao JX, Terenius L. Effect of low- and high-frequency TENS on Metenkephalin-Arg-Phe and dynorphin A immunoreactivity in human lumbar CSF. Pain 1991; 47: 295–298.